Slice of Life: Recipe for a Perfect Summer Day


Last week I was lucky enough to spend four wonderful days at a lake in northern Wisconsin with my son, daughter-in-law, and her family. Inspired by the beauty surrounding me, and a poem I read recently by Laura Purdie Salas, I decided to write a recipe poem about my visit to Lake Minocqua.


“Recipe for a Perfect Summer Day”

Take one lake filled with calm, clear water,

sun-warmed and sparkling.

Surround it with towering pine trees,

where bald eagles nest and perch.

Fill it with musky and largemouth bass,

walleye and northern pike.


pairs of loons, warbling their mournful cry,

graceful herons, still as statues on the shore,

iridescent dragonflies, darting over the surface.

Mix in families and friends who spend the day:

swimming and kayaking,

biking or hiking;

your choice.

Top with a campfire,

toasted marshmallows,

and gooey, chocolatey s’mores,

under a star-filled sky.

© Catherine Flynn, 2014

Thank you, as always, to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for hosting Slice of Life each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

18 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Recipe for a Perfect Summer Day

  1. Catherine, I enjoyed this reflection and the lovely serene shot. Would you like to submit this for my Summer Serenity Gallery that I will unveil at the end of this month? Let me know what you think.


  2. I love this! I remember a line from some famous poet about capturing the memory of a host of daffodils? for savoring on a dreary winter day…a bit like as Frederick the mouse gathers sunbeams. You have captured the day vividly. These words will be delightful nice to revisit in January. I have been rereading Lucy Calkins Living Between the Lines. When we see our life through what she calls “Wide-open eyes”, we remember it better. Such a great memory you have.


    • Maine is very similar to northern Wisconsin. My husband and I both went to Univ. of Maine, and visited my in-laws’ camp on a loon-filled lake “down east” for years until they moved to Pennsylvania. Glad you enjoyed your visit!


  3. I LOVE this for so many reasons! I can feel the relaxed joyful calm and restfulness at the lake. I can actually BE there too. Love the form of a recipe… Feels like I can “make it mine and it makes me want to use the recipe format to write one of my own… To play with this around different settings – which u know I’m ON about… And situations / moods / tones. (Didn’t even realize this was YOU Catherine until ready to post! What a fun discovery.


  4. Catherine,
    Your recipe for summer fun is also a “mini-lesson” for great descriptive writing! This format seems so perfect for your description. (It makes me also wonder what else you tried!)

    As I was reading your poem, I felt like I was being transported (a basic “Calgon” moment!) through time and space so I could look over your shoulder and through your eyes!

    A great mentor piece for me to come back and revisit! Thanks so much! And kudos for this and attending #TCRWP simultaneously! ❤


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